Leading anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar insists hosting Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine is a positive because it is forcing the co-hosts to confront their problems with racism and xenophobia.
UEFA confirmed on Tuesday they are investigating allegations of racist abuse directed towards Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie from sections of the Russian support during the opening-day encounter in Wroclaw and also apparent monkey chants aimed at Italy striker Mario Balotelli by some Spanish supporters during Sunday's draw between the sides in Gdansk.
In addition, a couple of ultra-nationalist flags have been brought to UEFA's attention, as was the abuse directed at Holland's players during a training session in Krakow last week.
Other flashpoints remain, in particular Tuesnight's powderkeg Group A encounter between Poland and Russia in Warsaw.
Yet Powar, executive director of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, is glad the tournament ended up in eastern Europe.
"I didn't agree with the idea that Euro 2012 shouldn't come to Poland," he said.
"It is a fantastic country, very dynamic and growing economically.
"Obviously, Ukraine is not where you would want it to be and there are widespread human rights abuses.
"But you could say the same about China and in 2018 the World Cup will be held in Russia.
"If you start arguing against that you are going down a different road completely and where do you draw the line?"
What Powar and his colleagues are determined to ensure is that every instance of racism or xenophobia is highlighted, making both the national authorities and their footballing counterparts confront issues, which in turn may eventually break down barriers.
"It has been quite helpful to debate these issues and we have noticed the Polish government in particular change their position quite subtlely," he said.
"It is almost as if they are admitting they have some things to deal with."
Powar accepts the recent political history of eastern Europe makes inter-country relationships somewhat complex.
Nationalism is an issue in many areas, particularly when there is a general absence of migration from Africa or the Indian sub-continent.
"We only have to look at the abuse people from Poland and Romania have received on occasion in the United Kingdom to see how attitudes can harden," he said.
"In different areas it is not just about skin colour and Russia's relationship with Poland is a case in point.
"We have seen flags in Poland with swastikas on them, and Celtic crosses. Who are they aimed at? It is a very complex problem."
What Powar does take heart from is the information generated through the Fans Embassy team for Spanish supporters, who have confirmed the abuse directed at Balotelli in Gdansk on Sunday, which Italy coach Cesare Prandelli did not hear given his flat rejection of claims anything untoward happened.
"Prandelli is a decent guy, who supports a lot of progressive causes," said Powar.
"He is aware of the issues and very open to the debate about them.
"The fact he didn't know, just highlights the difficulties.
"It does seem Russia are in denial to some extent but the fact those Spain fans admitted there was a problem shows we are moving forward."